The design and implementation of an Interactive Computerised Decision Support Framework (ICDSF) as a strategy to improve nursing students' clinical reasoning skills

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2011, 31 (6), pp. 587 - 594
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This paper describes the conceptual design and testing of an Interactive Computerised Decision Support Framework (ICDSF) which was constructed to enable student nurses to "think like a nurse." The ICDSF was based on a model of clinical reasoning. Teaching student nurses to reason clinically is important as poor clinical reasoning skills can lead to "failure-to rescue" of deteriorating patients. The framework of the ICDSF was based on nursing concepts to encourage deep learning and transferability of knowledge. The principles of active student participation, situated cognition to solve problems, authenticity, and cognitive rehearsal were used to develop the ICDSF. The ICDSF was designed in such a way that students moved through it in a step-wise fashion and were required to achieve competency at each step before proceeding to the next. The quality of the ICDSF was evaluated using a questionairre survey, students' written comments and student assessment measures on a pilot and the ICDSF. Overall students were highly satisfied with the clinical scenarios of the ICDSF and believed they were an interesting and useful way to engage in authentic clinical learning. They also believed the ICDSF was useful in developing cognitive skills such as clinical reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making. Some reported issues were the need for good technical support and the lack of face to face contact when using e-learning. Some students also believed the ICDSF was less useful than actual clinical placements. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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